3. The Fundamentals in handling people-Part 1


How can we get along with people?  For many of us, this is mystery, can you figure people out?  According to the Bible, we are made in the image of God (Gen. 1:27).  However, we have a fallen nature, which means we have a sinful tendency.  In the book of Romans, chapter eight, scripture tells us, when humanity fell, all of creation also fell. The entire world looks forward to change, which will take place when redemption is completed.      


19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.  20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

Romans 8:19-20


You might ask does this matter when we are talking about dealing with people.  The point here is man has a fallen nature; all of creation has a fallen nature. When dealing with people we need to keep this in mind.  People are not perfect, we ourselves are not perfect.   Each living being has a nature, dogs, goats, birds, lions, and insects have a unique characteristics and behaviors.  We don’t expect dogs to fly; neither do we expect goats to hunt lions. Why? Because such action is outside their nature, based on their nature we can expect animals to respond a certain way to certain circumstances.

         How does a dog trainer know how to train the dog?  Usually, they learn the “nature” of the animal they are training.  They learn to think like the animal thinks; they then use the thought patterns of the animal to help the animal respond in the desired manner.  

         Contrary to modern evolutionary teaching, we are not animals, but a direct creation of God.  We are made in the image of God after His likeness; we have “godlike” characteristics, though our nature is fallen. Understanding the “nature” of humanity helps us understand, why people act the way they do.  It also helps us understand why we act the way we do.  From the most famous to the infamous, all humans share a common way of acting and responding.  Our thoughts, feelings, and desires are along a similar pattern, because we have a similar nature. 

         Understand human nature, allows us to understand why people do what they do. This goes a long way in creating friendships.  Why do friendships matter? Because we have a mandate from Jesus Christ to reach the lost, to bring them the Gospel, therefore, by learning how handle people, we can be more effective in reaching those without Christ.

         The book How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie, has sold more the 15 million copies, because he clearly unfolds and reveals the nature of people.  The book is designed to help its reader, learn how to deal with people, so they can be more effective in their life and work.   For this very reason, many employers want their people to understand the material compiled by Dale Carnegie. Though the book is written from a secular perspective, many of Carnegie’s “revelations about humanity” are already in the Bible.

         The goal for many companies is to advance their corporate agenda.  We as part of the Kingdom of God, have an eternal agenda, unequalled by the goal of any company. Through understanding the basic nature of humanity, we will be better equipped in reaching a lost and dying world.

         We can borrow the outline in How to Win Friends and Influence People using his examples along with scripture; to help understand this lost world.  Understand the lost and the saved both have the same fallen nature; we both crave and desire the same things.  When we know Christ, our desire for meaning and hope is realized.  The lost look for meaning and hope in a bankrupt world, we have the opportunity to bring them what they really seek, “Jesus Christ”.

          How to Win Friends and Influence People is divided into four sections; we will use Carnegie’s outline division and example along with Biblical parallels.

1)       Fundamental Techniques to handling people

2)       Six ways to make people like you

3)       How to win people over to your way of thinking

4)       Be a leader

 Part 1:  Fundamental techniques for handling people

           In this part of this study we will examine the basic underlying aspects of all human beings.  What makes people the way they are, and why do they respond the way they do.  In Part 1, we will look at 3 fundamental areas of human “Nature” and how to handle people.

 1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.

2. Give honest and sincere appreciation

3. Arouse in the other person an eager want. 

1. Don’t criticize, condemn or complain


         Jesus Christ died for the sins of the world, because there was no other way for man to be saved.  This is why Jesus is called our “Savior” because He saved us from our sins, which means we need to be saved.  For someone to come to Christ, they first need to know, their need of a savior, they need salvation, in other words they are lost.  The problem is most people; don’t think they are really “bad enough” to deserve punishment.         Why aren’t we, “that bad”? Because, we justify our actions, we are not really that bad.  In fact, if you go to any prison and ask people, do they deserve to be there? Most will tell you no, they are innocent or they don’t belong in jail.  Are we really any different then most people?  We constantly justify our actions.

         Dale Carnegie tells us the story of Two-Gun Crowley, who was trapped on May 7th 1931 in the top floors of a New York apartment building, in his girlfriend’s apartment.  Over 150 New York Police and detectives descended on his hideaway, shooting machine guns and firing tear gas into one of the finest areas in New York City.  Ten thousand people watched as the war in New York City took place. Crowley had earlier killed a policeman in cold blood, who dared ask him to see his driver’s license.  Did he think he was wrong?  We know what he thought, because he wrote a letter during the event, thinking he was going to die.  He wrote 

 “To whom it may concern.”.....Under my coat is a weary heart, but a kind one---one that would do nobody any harm”[1]


         After he was captured, Crowley was sentenced to the electric chair, with his last words proclaimed his innocence saying, “This is what I get for defending myself”. 

         The point is this; Crowley did not see himself as a “bad-guy”, he saw himself as  a kind hearted person, who would do nobody any harm.  Even though he killed an officer in cold blood, he justified himself.  If Crowley acts this way, how do you think most people feel about their actions? 

         Was Crowley alone?  No other well known criminals also see themselves as public humanitarians, gangsters like Al Capone and Dutch Shultz saw themselves as servants of humanity, even though many died from their actions. 

Extending Grace 

         Without the light of the Gospel, it’s hard for people to see their actions as wrong.  The unfaithful husband justifies himself, saying “my wife did not love me”.  The person who steals can justify himself, saying the company exploits “poor people”.  This is why for the most part criticizing, condemning or complaining does little good. Most of us will justify ourselves, for our actions, even if others are harmed. 

         This is where the principle of extending grace is demonstrated.  We must always remember how God extends grace to us. We need to learn to see the world, through the other person’s eye.  Ask these questions before you are tempted to say something to somebody in a critical way,

·         Do they have the advantage of knowing scripture?

·         Do I expect others to know what I know? 

·         Are we really much better then them? 

         This is the point Jesus is trying to make in Matthew 7, He says before you are critical (Judging) others, first make sure you are in the position to judge.  The standard we set for others is the standard we are setting for ourselves.  

1 "Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 "For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 "Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  5 "Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Matthew 7:1-5          

         Before I knew the Lord, I would always view someone’s financial standing as the indicator of their value.  As a result, I viewed myself as a failure, because I did not meet my own judgment.  I was a failure according to my own standard.  This is what verse 2 is saying, “For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged”.

         Paul in Romans 14 urges the “Saved” to learn to extend grace to fellow “believers”.  Especially in areas where there is dispute.  I always remember the story of a friend, telling me how his brother, who was in great distress, entered a church with a black leather biker’s jacket.  After sitting down, an usher came over to him, tapped him on the shoulder, and told him, “Your kind does not belong in the church”.  Rejected, it would be many years before he ever stepped into a church.  This story is repeated over and over again, as people looking for hope are rejected and condemned by the very people who should love them.  This is the point Paul is making in Romans 14, we are to try to understand those who are weak in faith.  Accept them in the love of Christ.

 1 Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; Romans 14:1-23

          Condemning criticizing and complaining about minor issues is not walking in the love of Christ.  Let the love of Christ rule your actions, keep in mind Jesus died for that person.  So rather then being critical of people, let us try to show them the love of Christ.  

         Abraham Lincoln learned the damage of having a critical personality firsthand.  His experience changed his life, making him one of the most admired presidents in American history.  Abraham was not always adept at dealing with people.  According to Dale Carnegie, in 1842 Lincoln ridiculed a belligerent politician named James Shield, through anonymous letters; he mocked and made fun of him.  People laughed at Shields expense, word finally got out it was Abraham Lincoln who was behind the letters.  James Shields challenged Lincoln to a dual; Lincoln accepted rather then seem like a coward.  Lincoln selected cavalry broadswords as his weapon of choice, even though he did not really want to fight.  A West Point graduate gave Lincoln lessons on sword fighting, preparing him for the fight of his life.[2] 

         Lincoln and Shields were prepared to fight to the death, over a letter Lincoln wrote. The day finally arrived; Shields and Lincoln met on a sand bar in the Mississippi River on September 22, 1842.  Only at the last minute was a fight prevented, which would have affected both men’s future.  Lincoln learned his lesson, never again did he attack with a critical spirit, but became known as a man with out malice.  His famous quote from his 2nd inaugural address demonstrated this change in attitude, Lincoln talked about the attitude America needed,


With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds. ....Abraham Lincoln


         Finally, Jesus tells the parable of a king with two servants, who both owed the king money.  In this parable, Jesus is illustrates the principle of forgiving those who offended us. The point is, if our Heavenly Father can forgive us for our offenses, why do we have the right to hold on to those who offend us? 

 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. 23 "Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 "And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 "But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 "The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, 'Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 27 "Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 "But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe!' 29 "So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.' 30 "And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 "So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 "Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 'Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?' 34 "And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 "So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses."  Matthew 18:22-35

This is not to say there is never a time to be critical.  Sometimes it’s our job, to point out areas that need improvement, such as in a job situation.  We really need to examine each situation, keeping in mind who is hearing our words.  

         Ask yourself; are you in the position to give your comments on an issue?  Let the words from proverbs be your guide. 

5 A fool despises his father's instruction, But he who receives correction is prudent.22 Without counsel, plans go awry, But in the multitude of counselors they are established. Proverbs 15:5,22

 25 Strike a scoffer, and the simple will become wary; Rebuke one who has understanding, and he will discern knowledge. Proverbs 19:25

5 Open rebuke is better Than love carefully concealed. 6 Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. Proverbs 27:5-6

 2. Give honest and Sincere Appreciation 

Every person has wants and needs; some of these needs are very obvious such as food, water and shelter.  Other needs are less obvious, but still impact our lives, through actions and attitudes.  We are social beings, it’s our nature, and we live our lives in context to those around.  We really do care what people think about us. 

We all have a desire to be significant, in one way or another.  We want to matter and have purpose.  As a result we search for ways to fill these inner desires.

In the Bible, we see this yearning for meaning and importance from the start, with Cain and Abel, the first two brothers.  Cain was upset; God did not have the same respect for his sacrifice, as He did for Abel’s.  The reason being, Abel offered from his heart, while Cain’s offering was out of obligation.  Abel offered the best; Cain offered what he thought he could get away with.  When Cain saw he offering was not accepted like Abel’s, he did not blame himself, he blamed his brother, he blamed God. 

6 So the Lord said to Cain, "Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 "If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it." 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.  Genesis 4:6-8


Why did Cain react in such a way?  Cain wanted to matter, he wanted God to accept his offer, however, Cain was not willing to do what he was required to do, to be accepted by God.  Therefore, he lashed out at his brother; he thought if he could eliminate his brother, then he would be significant.  Later a descendent of Cain, Lamech, continues this downward spiral, of our need for significance.  After killing a man, he declares if Cain deserved vengeance, from any harm, he deserved 70-tmes more. He is more important then Cain. 

23 Then Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; Wives of Lamech, listen to my speech! For I have killed a man for wounding me, Even a young man for hurting me. 24 If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, Then Lamech seventy-sevenfold."  Genesis 4:23-24

This need for significance has not been missed by the secular world; Dr. John Dewey said the deepest urge in human nature is “the desire to be important”.  Sigmund Freud called it, “the desire to be great” There can be no better modern-day example then the hit show American Idol.  The show promises “Idol” like status to its winners, who are ordinary people, with singing talent.  Why become an “Idol”, because along with fame and glory, comes the “appearance” of significance. 

Why do people give millions of dollars to a hospital, so a wing came be named after them?  Why does Donald Trump strive so hard to the known as a “Great businessman”, building monuments to his glory?  Because deep in his heart, he wants to matter, he wants to feel important.  Donald Trump exhibits, what we all yearn, to be important, to matter

The ways we try to achieve importance varies with each person; look around at all the ways we attempt to matter.  We think we can be significant if; we become very wealthy, get a education, become a basketball star, get a singing contract or be part of a gang.   The need to be “Important” causes us to do many things, let look at Julius Caesar.

Julius Caesar at the age of 31, while serving as a governor in Gades, in Gaul saw a statue of Alexander the Great in the Temple of Hercules and wept.  When asked what was the matter he responded,

 "Do you think I have not just cause to weep, when I consider that Alexander at my age had conquered so many nations, and I have all this time done nothing that is memorable." ... Julius Caesar

 From that point in his life, he began a quest for meaning and success which led to the fame and success attached to the name of Julius Caesar.  Where is he today?  Did all his fortune and success secure him a place in eternity? 

         Really, they are just like us; they are playing out their fallen “human” nature.  We all need significance; however our meaning and purpose come from who we are in relation to the Lord.  If you gain the whole world and loose your soul, what profit do you have?  We are significant because God made us in His image, and loved us enough to die for us.  That’s why we are important, not because we can conquer the world.  Only when we see our place in eternity, through the work of Christ, can we find real reason we yearn for glory and fame. 

         How far will we go in our need to be important and significant?  Dale Carnegie lists some of these examples, he writes,

     “History sparkles with amusing examples of famous people struggling for a feeling of importance.  Even George Washington wanted to be called “His Mightiness, the President of the United States”; and Columbus pleaded for the title “Admiral of the Ocean and Viceroy of India.”  Catherine the Great refused to open letters that were not addressed to “Her Imperial Majesty” and Mrs. Lincoln, in the White House, turned upon Mrs. Grant like a tigress and shouted, “How dare you be seated in my presence until I invite you!”......

.....Our millionaires helped finance Admiral Byrd’s expedition to the Antarctic in 1928 with the understanding that ranges of the icy mountains would be named after them[3] 

How should we respond to our need for meaning and significance?  Regarding our vain attempts at being significant, the Bible in Jeremiah declares,   

23 Thus says the Lord: "Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; 24 But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight," says the Lord.Jeremiah 9:23-24


This need is so great, that many times it destroys people’s lives, causing them to go insane.  Their life takes on a delusion of importance, rather then deal with reality.  Dale Carnegie quotes a head physician in a leading psychiatric hospital,


“I have a patient right now whose marriage proved to be a tragedy.  She wanted love....children, and social prestige, but life blasted all her hopes.  Her husband didn’t love her. He refused even to eat with her and forced her to serve his meals in his room upstairs.  She had no children, no social standing.  She went insane; and, in her imagination, she divorced her husband and resumed her maiden name.  She now believes she has married into English aristocracy, and she insists on being called Lady Smith....and as for children, she imagines now that she has a new child every night.  Each time I call on her she says: “Doctor, I had a baby last night”[4]

 Not flattery


The world is starved for meaning and significance, people want to know they matter and mean something.  This need is often exploited by insincere words, called flattery in scripture.  Flattery is to deceptively appeal to someone’s need for significance.  To tell them what they want to hear, to gain advantage.  What does the Bible says about flattery?


9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is destruction; Their throat is an open tomb; They flatter with their tongue. Psalm 5:9 

2 They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak. Psalm 12:2 

18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. Romans 16:18


Because we are fallen and crave meaning, we become a target of those who understand this weakness in the human condition.  Flattery exploits this weakness, this need for meaning. 


The gift we can offer


When we know Jesus Christ, we can offer the world what it really wants and needs. The purpose they have through Jesus Christ.  This is why the book, The Purpose Driven Life was so successful. It showed people, like you and me, we have purpose beyond anything this world can offer. 

We can offer people the significance they seek, by letting them know who they are in Jesus Christ.  People matter, what they do matters, why not let people know? 

All around us, people are hungry to be “sincerely” appreciated.  Why not appreciate people, for what they are doing.  If you see someone doing a great job, let them know.  Lets not just think it, keeping what people do in our hearts, lets tell them, with a sincere heart, using honest appreciation.   

Remember we are made in the image of God, being in God’s image we have likeness.  Scripture tells us to be thankful; we are to thank the Lord for what He does for us everyday.  Being thankful is showing appreciation.    Look around, has somebody done something you can appreciate?  

This failure to appreciate is clearly demonstrated by the healing of the ten lepers in Luke.

 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?  Luke 17:12-17 

These ten lepers were outcasts of society.  Jesus healed them, and only one of the ten, took time to find Jesus and thank Him.  Only 10%, if that figure was true in Jesus’ day, it’s true in our day.  Our fallen “nature” is not thankful, that why we have to be instructed in the Bible to be “Thankful” to offer “Thanksgiving”.

In Christ alone, can we appreciate what Jesus did for us on the Cross.  Therefore, let’s extend our appreciation, to those around us.  To people made in the image of God, let them know we have a thankful spirit, let them see we are different in Christ.  Quoting Dale Carnegie, “Try leaving a friendly trail of little sparks of gratitude on your daily trips, You will be surprised how they will set small flames of friendship that will be rose beacons on your next visit”.

 Class assignment:


1.  Refrain from any condemnations, criticisms or complaints about people.  Instead try to understand why they might have acted the way they did.


2.  Look for opportunities to show people sincere honest appreciation, for their actions.



[1] How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie, Pgs. 3-4

[2] How to Win Friends & Influence People, Dale Carnegie, Pgs. 8-9

[3] Ibid, Pg. 21

[4] Ibid page 23